Monday, April 27, 2009
Aight guys so Eric is passionate abt Africa just like we are. He found out that his ancestors are from Sierra Leone and when he went to visit he was shocked by the level of poverty and wanted to do something. His story to me is a story of faith and love towards our people, his people us , we all come from the same place and geography is never going to change that!!
Could you introduce yourself ?
I am 41 years old. I am a internet entrepreneur, I run two websites :kindredgear.com and myafricandiaspora.com. My other job is aspiring screenwriter.
What made you want to search for your ancestors?
I saw television program about Oprah and other black people getting DNA tests to determine their african ancestry. I was excited to know that I could find out where I really came from.
Having visited Sierra Leone , do you know feel connected to your ancestors land?
Yes, I felt as soon as I stepped off the plane. People opened their homes to me and treated me like family. It felt like I was sitting around my family's dinner table just laughing and talking in the U.S. People said welcome home so much, I couldn't help but feel connected.
What would it mean to you being able to sell a million shirt?
It would mean that I have accomplished a business goal but more importantly that I have the resources to help rebuild my ancestral home. Providing clean water is just the first step.
What was your best memory of ur visit to sierra leone?
There are so many but I would have to say that traveling upline and visiting the village of Port Loko stands out the most. The welcome ceremony they performed, the beauty of the country and spirit of the people, who without all the modern trappings of society, seem so happy.
Why is this your purpose in life basically tell us whatever is on your mind concerning this cause ?
It would have been easy to visit, see the plight of the people, say "oh, that's too bad", come home and get on with my life, but knowing where I come from means that I have a responsibility to do something. I also believe having clean drinking water is a right - something all people should have. If you're sick from the water, how can you go to school, how can you grow up and contribute to your community?
Are u being helped by other organisations african or american?
My partner and I met a Sierra Leonean woman - Zainab Beckett, now living in America (actually discovering she lives about 10 minutes away from me), that we instantly connected with. She is the founder of ZCD Foundation (www.zcdfoundation.org). She was our guide and host on our trip home. She has also partnered with another African American who discovered his Sierra Leonean lineage - NBA star Amare Stoudemire. The primary mission is to provide clean water, but as funding becomes available, we will expand to areas of healthcare and agriculture.
If you would like to support Eric's efforts to sell a million shirts for Sierra Leonan children please go to his webbie:
Djaa my African American Brothas rep' for Africa:)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I've been waiting... waiting for the video and it's finally here
"TOUT LE MONDE LEVEZ LES MAINS POUR BISSO
AH FRAPPEZ LES MAINS"
Would like to thank them for the great time they showed us, actually one of the best concerts I've been to, I danced and sang my heart out, true fan of this Congolese collective
Our national TV showcased the show on national TV and I saw myself dancing my heart out, my mum was like " Yaye you couldn' sit down" lol
See if you recognize me on this clip:
Djaa on va levez les mains pour Bisso Na Bisso:)
You know when I know that you are a blog star, when ur blog stands out in my mind
She's from Guinea and evolves in France, she says everything on her mind and put her pictures take that, she aint scared, what? lol Love it
She is serious but doesnt take herself too seriously, want a proof the name of her blog:
The life of a Little Conasse, check your dictionary for the meaning of the word
I love her blog because it's funny, it's easy to read, she has interesting stories and ways to express herself....She's a blog star in my book, it's in French unfort' for some of you but she has fierce pics of herself for my fashionistas:)
Check her out: it's also on the right side under Guinea but I had to big it up:)
Djaa my gos de Guinee sont dedans aussi:)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Green symbolises nature and life
Green like the savanes of our continent
Green is Harmony
Green vegies are good for you
Green is the symbol of hope
Green is prosperity
Islam's tradional color is green
Christmas Season is green
Many African countries,
have green on their flags
Living green is good for the environment
Green Apples are always a great snack
Green it was:)
PS: I've featured most of these designers, so you can look through my archives for more info on them...
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Afrocoffee is by a South Africa man and his Austrian partners, they had the vision of coffee products made out of South African , Ethiopan beans with a packaging that would mirror an African man with an Afro:)
They branched out to teas, to tees, mugs, bags with the Afro man logo, in South Africa and in Austria they have a cool coffee shop/restaurant where diverse African bands play while you can eat.
They are planning opening up new Afro Coffees cafes around the world, I think they are def' have a unique product, the packaging is witty, the characters are fun ...def'an interesting product:)
Thank you to the folks at Gluebook blog for introducing me to this line:)
All pics courtesy of Haji Couture
Djaa my African American sistas sont dedans aussi:)
When I read the story of Saint Moses the Black who lived during the 4th century I knew I wanted to share it with some of y'all who just like me had never heard of him before.
He lived in Ethiopia (some say he's from Egyptian descent and some argue that he's full Ethiopian)
and engaged in all types of nefaste activities;killing, lying, stealing. He's said to be very strong and intimidating.
Hiding from people he found himself among monks at a monastere where inspired by their internal and external hapiness and discipline he converted and became one of them
One of them in particular the Abbot of the Monastry St Isidore took care of his spiritual education.
Of course the Devil tempted him as he does with all of us everyday by giving him serious pain in his feet, it was so bad that he was bed ridden
For a man who was known for his impatiente it was a great test, St Moses the Black learned more abt patiente and meditation and little by little found his strength
He's remenbered in history because of his tolerance and his vision of non violence.
For example,when the other monks wanted to place judgement on one of theirs he used the analogy of Black of an opened bag of sand , when asked why was he carrying it he explained that he was in no position of judging someone when he was a sinner .."This sand is my sins which are trailing out behind me, while I go to judge the sins of another."
Another time when the monks were fasting, St Moses the Black cooked for visitors when it was reported he explained that he did for God these were people visiting so he had to feed them.
He died as a martyr in his church with six other members when they refused to escape when his monastry was attacked.He was 75 he is today burried in the main church of Al Baramus monastry.
Great link that helped me with this piece:
Djaa we Africans need to learn more abt our ancestors:)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
She was born in Adis Abeba and attended Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar my hometown, yeahhh!
Her artistic process mix both drawing and painting, there's a difference btw the 2
One of her major themes is history of cities and people and how we react to our environment, over the years she has collected semi-abstract symbols determinating populations , as well as architectural plans , maps, plans that she breaks down in pieces and kinda play at reconstructing them .
Her pieces suggest movement in space,intensity of a city awakening, ect...
She's received a few awards along the way among them the American Art Award from the Whytney Museum.
For a more complete review, check this link:
Here's a video profile of the sista:
Djaa my sistas from Ethiopia sont dedans:)
Ok we are back to the profile/interview feature of a Fabulafricana woman, today's woman of interest is the agreable and beautiful model to the top designers miss Nana Keita, she's obviously beautiful but I also hope that through this interview that she is a young woman like us with a beautiful and agreable personality, that's my type ofd chicka ;one that does her job well, praise the Lord, work hard and enjoy it fabulously and humbly.
Who is Nana?Nana is another world citizen with big dreams :)
How do you define yourself as a Malian woman?
Where are your fav' places to hang out in Bko?I haven't lived there for quite a long time now, so I'd say my house (rire)
There are so many, from seeing my work at the news stand, to randomly seeing myself on tv for the first time, a chance to meet with legends like Ralph Lauren/Oscar De La Renta, great memories from working with amazing people such as Alber Elbaz (Lanvin) and so kind and inspirational Tracy Reese, working for Halston (whose legacy in the American designs is undeniable) the lovely Isaac Mizrahi, to name just a few among other great designers/models whom I have a lot of respect for and got a chance to work with.Also of course doing the Arise African Collective show where not only did I get to work with some of the greatest African models at the same event, but I got to meet the amazing Grace Jones who told me I was beautiful!! (I think I went blank for a moment! rires) And walking on a runway show by a designer from Mali (Xuly Bet) during New York fashion week was such an honor and dream come true.Too many great memories I'm grateful for that I can go on and on about but I will stop
Who are your fav' african designers? have you modelled for any and which ones would you like to model for in the future?I unfortunately don't know many of them but the late Chris Seydou, Alphadi, Diouma Dieng Diakhate, Pathe O. and Gilles Toure come to mind.I got a chance to walk for Gilles Toure during an event for Africa at the United Nations. It will be an honor to work for any of them, unfortunately it hasn't been possible yet due to schedule and the fact that I don't live near them, but I do hope I can pull it off in a near future.
The late Chris Seydou and Lamine Badian Kouyate for Xuly Bet are the ones that I know of, so they are my favs.I have yet to meet painters from Mali, but ex "ministre de la culture" Mme Aminata Dramane does a great job when it comes to art in general, and my mother is a great painter too although she only does it as a hobby and keeps it private.My favorite malian writers are Amadou Hampathe Ba and Seydou Badian Kouyate.
What does spirituality mean to you?God is a very important part of my everyday life and I try my best to be as close to him as possible by doing things that I'm required to do, but also avoiding things I'm not supposed to do. I make efforts to stay as morally correct as possible.
How did you feel when obama won and how did you celebrate the big day?I was of course happy for him and every other person who fought for this kind of change to happen in the world. It was a very emotinal moment indeed and I hope we get to see a lot more stories like his in the future.
You can see Nana at the Tracy Reese 2009 Show:HERE
Backstage at Patricial Field:HERE
Which african women do you admire and why?My mother comes first as she is the most amazing woman I know (and I'm not just saying that vecause she is my mom!! rires) And every single African queens out there living in villages or in cities with no electricity, and/or with no clean water, food, comfortable home, proper health care, victims of discrimination and any sort of physical or emotional pain, that still stand up strong and are great mothers to their children regardless of what they're going through in their every day lives. Those are my queens and I salute them.
What is ur fav' word in bambara and why?Mash'Allah. It's not really Bambara but it is frequently used in the language. It's a way to preach God and send him your thanks for what you have.What are your fav spots for vacation in the word?Anywhere whith a clean beach and privacy to relax is perfect.
What motivates u in life to keep going ?God is my ultimate strength, and then my family and friends keep me grounded.-how do u feel about the twenties and the thrities as a youg woman?I believe every age is a celebration and we should embrace them all. Of course the older you get the more responsible and mature you should get
What's special abt african men?whats the one thing u would like them to improve on?Being African!! (rires) I don't know, that depends on each individual as they're all different in their own ways.Some of them need to stop thinking they are better than the women, or that they "own" their wife..
How do u feel abt polygamy?What? (rires) that word should not be part of our vocabulary. Religious people might lash out about that, but I don't think it's fair for any human being to be forced to share the person you love. Plus in an economic point of view it is one of the reasons why poverty has gained so much pace in Africa.
If I say salif keita..u say"Maninka De Ka Faring" (rires, the ones who speak Bambara will understand)I think he has one of the greatest voices in the world and is a great musician.-life is.......short, make sure you leave a positive mark before yo
Being on top of ur finances means....Not spend frivolously and keep tomorrow in mind.
What's one ONG in ur opinion that does a good job? I know the Rotary does a lot of great stuffs for the ones in need as I was president of Interact (younger version of Rotary) in the past.The great part about it is that none of the money or help comes from outside, the members are 100% required and dedicated to providing any sort of material or physical help they can.
If you could have diner with 3 famous african people who would it be and why?Mandela because, well, need I say why? Don't we all love and cherish this hero?Alphadi or Angelique Kidjo because in addition to their talents they're such eloquent speakers I could listen to them all day
U feel the most beautiful when..... I get unconditional love.
Whats one event that happened in the history of africa thay would stay marked in your mind (besides Obama lol) I was very young then but when Mandela finally achieved his goal and became president of South Africa after so many lost lives and years of pain and torture for him and everyone else who dared ask for their rights in that country. That was a very powerful moment for the whole world in my opinion.